How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Yuma AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Yuma AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Yuma AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Yuma AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Yuma AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Yuma AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Yuma AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Yuma AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Yuma AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Yuma AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Yuma AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Yuma Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Yuma AZ.